As temperatures across the Sooner State fall, kids in Norman will be properly clothed for school, regardless of family income, thanks to Assistance League Norman.
Students from Reagan Elementary shopped on the dime of Operation School Bell. Since 1978, Operation School Bell has been offering new clothes to kids who qualify for free and reduced meals. With the help of volunteers, kids can pick out a coat, shirts, pants and even shoes.
“They are kind of nice, they get me some clothes and they are kind of awesome,” says Emily, a 2nd grader at Reagan Elementary.
Reagan Elementary is just one of 27 schools that participates in Operation School Bell here in Norman. Assistance League Norman has provided 1,040 kids with clothes this year.
“Just knowing that I am making a difference in this community. You’re providing so much more than just new clothes, there is so much more. I mean that’s just the first ripple in the pond,” says Stephanie Clinton, the president of Assistance League Norman.
The nonprofit is doing what they can, but they still only reach a fraction of the students in free and reduced meals. Fifty percent of the students in Norman Public Schools are in that population; that is around 8,000 kids.
“Operation School Bell serves that population of kids so it is really important that those kids, their basic needs of clothing, and hygiene kits and self esteem are met here at Operation School Bell,” says Clinton.
To reach more kids in the future, Assistance League is asking for volunteers and donations to continue putting smiles on the faces of Norman’s future. Assistance League Norman has a goal of clothing 2,500 kids this year. They clothed nearly 2,000 last year.